All good things come to an end. That’s what they say. I found Gaslamp Ball in January 2014, when the site was already nearly a decade old. I came for the informative and insightful articles, and I stayed for the camaraderie and wit. When Jodi first approached me in December 2015 to ask if I’d like to join a team of talented writers, I was flattered to say the least. I never thought that I’d stick around for three years, but today I’m writing my last words for this site.
This is my third time experiencing the rise and fall of an online community. Once upon a time there was a forum called GolfOpinions.com where golf nerds like myself talked about the game we love. I was fascinated by the game’s equipment and somehow became a bit of an authority, answering questions and voicing my opinion with people I respected and appreciated. The membership grew and I even got to play some nice courses thanks to the kindness of fellow members. But the old guard slowly moved on, the site was bought out a couple of times, and the boards eventually went silent. Somewhere along the way, I bought a new car and I wanted to learn more about it. I found another forum, ElantraGTClub.com, later renamed ElantraClub.com, that followed a similar trajectory. The site grew, I was invited to become a moderator, and I made a bunch of friends near and far. But over time the momentum slowed and the site was boarded up.
I’ve been a Padres fan since I learned what a baseball was. My dad used to talk about Lane Field and Westgate Park. When he got a job in a concession stand at The Murph, my sister and I got to sit in the bleachers and cheer until our voices were gone. The KGB Sky Show was a date that my dad and I circled every year. I was with my mom when 60k+ fans made that concrete bowl shake to the tune of “Hell’s Bells” as the team took us all on a fantastic ride in 1998. We watched Game 1 of that World Series on the Jumbotron with a few thousand of our closest friends, having our collective hearts ripped out as strike three didn’t get called and Tino Martinez took Mark Langston deep to squash what hopes we had. Little did I know my future wife was also in attendance that day. Somehow we started following each other on Twitter, and eventually we met in person and sparked something amazing. I wonder if I would have even created my account if it hadn’t been for my role as a writer here on Gaslamp Ball. So this site has changed my life in significant ways, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Since joining in 2014, this has been one of the first pages I’ve opened every day. I check in often to see if any new articles are posted, and I always check down the main page to open all the discussions with new posts. Whether it was Joe’s insightful reflections on history, Tim’s meticulous observations of headgear, Jodi’s endless chronicles of the SOTJ, or simply game stories, I have devoured every word that’s been typed by all contributors down to the brave lurker who finally spoke out. Gaslamp Ball has been the most constant presence in my life through changes in home, career, and family. It’s weird to think that it’s time for me to walk away.
I don’t know what lies ahead for Gaslamp Ball, but change is in the air. Two of the writers I have respected and appreciated most in Jodi and Richard (darklighter) are no longer involved. The place just doesn’t feel the same to me and it never will. I wasn’t here for the heyday of Kev and Dex and jbox, but I’ve had the honor of sharing these pages with Jodi, Richard, Joe, Wonko, Daveysapien, Tim aka SD Hat Guy, and a handful of others over these last few years. This started out as a hobby of mine, and it grew into something that has become a constant joy, both as a writer and as a reader. I’ve also enjoyed countless conversations with everyone in the comments feeds that are really what drew me in five years ago. It’s opened opportunities and friendships. I respect and appreciate you all, and if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, please look me up, @Zippy_TMS. If I haven’t already met you in person, reach out and let’s shake hands at a game this season. I’d like to get to do this again somewhere else, and I’d love to see some of the old familiar faces in the comment threads again.
Until then, thank you all so very much, and Keep the Faith!